Susan Haydon Bursary recipient publishes migraine and genetics research

16th September 2022

In 2020, The Migraine Trust awarded a Susan Haydon Bursary to Katherine Markel who was studying for a Master’s degree in the Genetics of Human Disease at University College London (UCL). For her dissertation, Katherine undertook research into genetics and migraine using genetic data from the UK Biobank, supervised by Professor David Curtis of the UCL Genetics Institute.

We are delighted to share that Katherine’s research, which The Migraine Trust helped to fund, has now been published in the Annals of Human Genetics.

The research focuses on whether variants of certain genes that have been associated with migraine do in fact lead to a greater risk of developing more common types of migraine. Katherine found that none of the 10 genes she focused on made her UK Biobank participants more likely to develop common forms of migraine.

You can read more about Katherine’s research in her recent blog here. You can also read the full research paper here.

“As someone who has lived with chronic migraine for many years, it is incredibly rewarding to help contribute to the collective knowledge about this often overlooked condition. Every study on migraine gets us a little bit closer to figuring out what causes them and helps guide the development of new treatments. This is my first publication and it is a great honour for me to have played a small part in that process, a part I hope to continue playing as a doctoral student.”

Katherine Markel, UCL Genetics Institute

Katherine at her graduation

“We are delighted to have supported Katherine’s fascinating research into genetics and migraine and are very pleased to see her research published. Migraine has been overlooked for too long so it is crucial that we ensure this field of research keeps growing.

“It is thanks to the tireless work of scientists like Katherine that our understanding of migraine, its mechanisms and how we can treat it has expanded in recent years, and will continue to do so in years to come.”

Rob Music, chief executive of The Migraine Trust

Rob Music, Chief Executive of The Migraine Trust